Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in babies and the third-most common cancer in children after leukemia and brain cancer. Out of all cancer deaths in children, about 15 percent are due to neuroblastoma.
At present, children with this disease usually have to undergo chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these strong drugs are often associated with severe side effects, including developmental delays, hearing loss, and other disabilities.
In a study published in Nanoscale, scientists at the University of Central Florida announced the discovery that this disease can be treated by targeting the tumor cells with nanoparticles loaded up with a substance found in the spice turmeric.
According to Tamarah Westmoreland, senior author of the groundbreaking study, “This research demonstrates a novel method of treating this tumor without the toxicity of aggressive therapy that can also have late effects on the patient’s health.”
Sudipta Seal, who directs of UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center and Advanced Materials Processing Analysis Center, said, “This shows that nanoparticles can be an effective delivery vehicle for cancer drugs. More research is needed, but we are hopeful it could lead to more effective treatment of this devastating disease in the future.”